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How to Get Your Kids to Eat Salad



I love eating salads.  I would probably eat a salad every day, but sometimes it seems like such a hassle to get everything out and prepped for just one salad.  I decided I am going to try a new method.  Get everything out once, prep for multiple salads and then store things so they are easy to access for a salad anytime.

With all this salad on my brain, I started thinking about how I can get my kids to eat salad.  They love vegetables, but don’t really love salad.  These are the barriers I came up with:

  • Not easy to eat.  If the lettuce pieces are too big, or carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc are in too big of pieces they are less likely to want to eat it.
  • Unfamiliar items on the salad.  If they don’t really know what something is or haven’t had a lot of experience eating that particular food, then the salad goes untouched.
  • Sometimes kids don’t like their food mixed.  A salad is the epitome of mixed foods.

Here are my solutions and tips for getting your kids to not only eat salad, but love it!

Step #1:


Step #2:


Take it 1 step further and chop it up into ‘child’-size’ lettuce.


Raw carrots can be hard for little kids to chew, and also can be a choking hazard.  Try shredding carrots for a softer texture and a much easier to chew carrot!  I used the fine-grate on my grater, but I have also used my food processor for a little bit bigger shred.





Step #3:


Step #4:


Step #4:


What are some of your favorite salad toppings?

Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie

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My biggest trick for getting them to eat salad is to give it to the kids when they’re hungry. We almost always have a salad with dinner, and I usually serve it as a first course with no other food in sight. Snacks are cut off well before dinner, so they come to the table hungry and ready to chow on their salad.

About once a week, our dinner is a big grilled chicken caesar salad. Probably not the best salad choice, but at least it gets them a start at eating greens. That’s our only food that night, so if they don’t eat it they are hungry. But I’ve found that they seem to really like it!

let them help make it.my 6 yo son loves to use the salad chopper.i cut the vegetables to size and he smashes the top down.also–.salad is for “big kids”–works every time.

Thank you for all the great tips! I’m going to try them out because I do think that you are right that salad needs to be cut up more for kids to be able to eat them easier. Can’t wait to try these tips!

This is exactly how I serve salad! All separate! My daughter will eat various veggies on their own, but put them all together and you can forget about it! She’s much more likely to eat things separate, which is fine by me!

My 3.5 yo son likes “green worm salad”…romaine lettuce cut in ribbons. I make a sweet dressing with flax oil, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup (a little goes a long way). He eats tomatoes with this dressing too 🙂

Sometimes I put the favorites salad items underneath less favorite ones. So tomatoes go at the bottom so she has to eat her way through lettuce, carrots, peppers to get to the coveted tomato!

I give my toddlers the little leaves near the core of the romaine or green leaf heads…they LOVE to dip them in dressing. They also dip spinach leaves, they lovingly call them “leaves.”

So true about dipping. My three yr old ate baby spinach leaves because he could dip them in the BBQ sauce he was also dipping his chicken into!

I found that being a good example for my toddler by eating a big salad every night actually helped the most! Now both my little boys are salad thieves! I posted a video of them stealing my salad even, such an awesome moment for us healthy moms!

My son started eating lettuce at the age of 2. I’m a single dad and I eat a whole bowl of salad myself at every dinner. The condiment is simple, extra virgin olive oil, salt and the trick is to use strawberry balsamic reduction. Done!